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shirts and skins. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start tonight with this. what a day in american politics. there it was, right out there on the floor of the u.s. senate, right there on c-span, this bright red flaming line between the republicans who are open to honest debate, and those who are not. who are willing to thumb their noses at a country dying for some gun safety. dying just to get a vote on gun safety in the wake of the horror at newtown, connecticut. on the open to the debate side, there was john mccain. in this case, the good john mccain. lindsey graham and others who love the u.s. senate. love it for the very reason it allows debate. call them the shirts. then the list of 31 senators, 29 of them republicans, telling the american people, nine out of ten whom say they want to see stronger background checks for gun buyers to forget about it. forget about their concerns after newtown, because these 31
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people don't want to be bothered with having to get up there and say where they stand. those are, obviously, the skins in this contest. they're the usual suspects of the rejectionist front. ted cruz, rand paul, jim inhofe, and guy who is scared someone like one of them is going to knock him out of his seat mitch "following the bouncing ball" mcconnell. so is the state of the republican party that seems headed for a suicidal plunge not seen since barry goldwater said extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. i'm joined by nbc news political director, and chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. chuck, you're so smart about politics. why would the republican party basically take this stand? there's a lot of passion out there. these victims families members. they come on this program, they come on other programs. they go to the senators' office. they get them on the phone. their hearts are open. they've been hurt. and they just say, just give us a vote. and these guys, 31 of them say,
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forget about it. >> well, because the party, itself, is divided on this issue. and i think that you have republicans who believe they were elected to represent the republicans that put them in office. the republicans that nominated them. and when you look at our own polling, where the republican party is today and where independents are, where democrats are and moderates and liberals versus conservative, it's two different places. >> where's that 10% live? the 10% that doesn't want to have gun safety improvement. >> well, you know, they live in rural america. this is a cull chul issue. the thing with the gun debate, and i keep coming back to this is that it's a motion getting involved in public policy. whenever emotion and public policy come together, it usually leads to polarization and usually leads to an inability to get something done. immigration is a great example. seven years ago it was all emotion. now it's become clinical. the emotion has been taken out of it. what do we see? probably looks like it's marching along. there's going to be a pothole here and a pothole there. but the emotion got taken out of
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it. the emotion is not anywhere -- i mean, the emotion that's passion and -- i think it becomes like a seesaw. one person's emotion. then you get other ones where it's the culture feel of government getting involved nour lives. >> you remember when they fought in the early '60s about jim crow and getting rid of all those racial things down south? where it says white only at the gas station, men's room and everything? and that was the old states of the confederacy were against any of those changes. now is that large a body of republicans out there that are truly being represented by the don't even vote crowd? >> it's -- no, it is this slice of the republican party that is vibrant in these red states in these primaries. so i think it's -- look, there is this divide among -- there's even a divide among the culture in the united states senate where you have a johnny isaacson, a bob corkel. >> they say let's vote. >> we're legislators.
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we're going to be conservative legislators but we're legislators. then you have a new strain of the republican party, this new crowd that's gotten in there that says, no, you know what, government gets too big when it does anything. whatever. legislating is bad, period. >> don't even debate. >> yes. >> it looks to me like the 29, following up on your thought, a lot of these people like mitch mcconnell aren't born right wingers. howard was sit in that chair yesterday, howard fineman. he said all this thing going on with kentucky, whatever's going on, the taping of that meeting and everything was mitch mcconnell coming out screaming bring in the fbi because he wanted to show he was a real right winger and mad at the left. >> he was tough. it has united conservatives around him. conservatives, the enemy of my enemy is my ally. this is survival. the fact of the matter is, chris, he saw what happened. his own guy got -- didn't lose to rand paul, got crushed by rand paul. >> trey grayson. >> got crushed by rand paul. john cornen, his own state, his
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own guy got crushed by ted cruz in a runoff. wasn't that close. this is -- >> orrin hatch saw the same thing. as i said, 29 republicans today and 2 democrats voted to block debate. that shocked one newtown family member. jillian soto. remember she was here. we met her here on "hardball" earlier in the week. her sister, a teacher in newtown, connecticut, was murdered at sandy hook. here's what jillian had to say today. >> i was very pleased with how many yeses we did have and happy we were able to get this passed, but i was still completely shocked that there were so many who were so against this and who still believe that we don't need to be heard, that newtown doesn't deserve a vote. and that nothing needs to be done. i was directly affected by gun violence. my sister was murdered because of this. and the fact there are still people who don't think anything needs to happen just shocks me. >> what a human person there.
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anyway, a spokesperson for gabrielle giffords' gun add advocacy had this to say. "to the senators who voted no today, we regret your attempt to obstruct debate and deny a vote to families of newtown, tucson, of aurora and countless other communities across the kun coun. americans deserve better than the loyalty to the corporate gun lobby that you displayed today. with your help, your swants will be educated and reminded of your actions in the coming weeks ahead." the gun safety people out there are trying to spread the word. your point is pretty tough. it's pretty hard to dislodge these people. they're strongly in the base of the right wing party that doesn't want to hear about it. >> i've talked to some aides who are close to some republicans who voted no on this and they said they know how bad it looks. not necessarily something they want to do, but they say the reality has become the united states senate, the way this works now is that a vote like
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this is simply a vote for gun control. it doesn't matter. you can't -- >> right. >> the constituency groups that you have to court to win your renomination, there is no more -- used to be able to -- this used to be procedural, we didn't pay attention. all this stuff gets -- >> boy is that tough. >> this is what's wrong. you want to know what's wrong in the united states senate? what's wrong in the united states senate, the idea a cloture vote, i'm sorry i'm using the term. >> i know what you know. >> this idea to close debate or open debate is somehow judged as a vote for or against -- >> that's a big development today. the nra put it out. they're going to score on the base of how you vote on this. >> this is what's wrong with the united states senate. that it's become this. and that's the problem. and you know, the irony is there are guys that voted no on this that didn't want to vote no on this but felt politically trapped that they had to do it and like i said, i've talked to those. they say, you know what, we wish it were different. i say, why don't you change it? they say, well, talk to my boss. but it is -- that's the reality we live in.
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the united states senate. this is what makes it broken. when ex-senators come on you and tell you it's broken, current senators claim no. every ex-senator -- >> 31 senators refuse to be the world's greatest deliberative body. >> they would have been judged as being pro-gun. >> thanks for the reality. tough reality, though. thank you, chuck todd. today "politico" reported, "toomey has privately told democrats he hopes to sway six to eight of his gop colleagues to support the final package after all the amendments are resolved. yet right now the only solid republican votes on background checks are toomey and illinois senator mark kirk." they're the only republicans. what are the prospects for getting something passed in the senate after all the talk? senator angus king is an independent senator r from maine who caucuses with the democrats. senator king, you're an independent guy. i want your views on what you see and smell on the floor of the united states senate. chuck todd said a lot of these senators, 31 of them, basically are afraid to even have a debate because when they vote to have a debate, the nra says, you're one
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of the bad guys. >> well, i think you got to break that down into two issues. number one, you guys have looked for the last five minutes at the glasses half emtty. 68 senators voted on one of the most controversial and contentious issues in recent american life. 68 senators voted yes knowing that the nra was going to score that vote. and i think that's a pretty positive development. when i went in there today to vote, i wasn't sure whether we had the 60 votes. 68 voted yes. thi i think that's a good sooign. you're talking about republican primaries. it's a narrower issue that than. it's the number of people who vote in a republican primary or in a democratic primary for that matter. up in maine last summer when i was running, we had i think 13% of the republicans voted in the republican primary. something like 9% of the democrats. so you have a very small group of people who are deciding who t the candidates are going to be
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and one highly organized constituency, whether it's the nra or whoever, can really sway one of these primaries. that's the political dynamic that's going on now is a narrowing of the voting base which leaves it to the most activist and excited and passionate people. and that's part of what you saw today. but, you know, i think what happened today was pretty positive. now the question is, can we hold on to those votes and get to final passage? or are we going to have to face another filibuster later on? but, you know, we got to this one pretty quickly and got the votes. >> this is what -- i want to now explain our opportunity to show what the real hard right. here's ted cruz on the mark levin show, very conservative radio guy, and a very, very conservative senator. let's hear what he says. i think this is the scare tactic i'm concerned about on the hard right. >> a registry is, number one, inconsistent with the second amendment right to keep and bear arms, but number two,
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historically, has been the predicate for taxation, regulation, and ultimately for confiscati confiscation. that's what this fight is all about. they want a registry because they want to limit the liberties of law-abiding citizens. >> i don't know where to start in terms of taking that apart. deconstruct it. there's no talk of a registry. what in history in this country has ever been confiscated? i've never had my car confiscated. it's been registered. people have their fishi ining licenses. their fishing poles aren't confisca confiscated. >> chris, look, they can't really argue against background checks. it's really hard to say. you know, you and i grew up, remember we heard the nra say guns don't kill people, people kill people? the logical result of that is, let's do background checks and keep the guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. this registry thing is the best argument they have. frankly, i'm disappointed in senator cruz. he's a really senator guy. there's nothing about registries. in fact, toomey and manchin have
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negotiated this. we've been having background checks for 25 years and the records are kept at the gun shops. there's no federal record of them. there's not a federal registry. everybody understands that what the issue there is. and he, you know, he lumped me in i guess with everybody else because i'm supporting background checks saying what they lareally want is registration. that's not what i want. i want a background check so the people who shouldn't have guns don't get them. and it's people with criminal records, people who are prone to violence, with mental illness. >> yeah. >> and so that's a -- i guess the classic term is red herring. it's just really not part of the argument. >> i'm just afraid the tail is wagging the dog up there. these new kids on the block, the late ef most right-wing senators like rand paul and this guy, cruz, the most right-wing senators we've ever seen have the majority behind them. 29 on their side of this fight today. 16 on the other side in their party. the crazier people are calling the shots. that's the way i see it. thank you for your optimism. we need a lot of it.
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thank you. no, really. you sound like a peace corps guy. it's really good. >> well, hey, man, you got to look on a positive side and there are some good things going on around here, and, you know, there may have been a time a few years ago where that group would have said, okay, the whole party is going to vote no. and they're going to sustain the filibuster. i think the fact that the party broke on this and there were significant number of votes for cloture, that's progress, man. >> senator angus king of maine, a true independent. thank you for coming on, sir. coming up, president obama's sister soldier moment some are calling. he's doing what a leader does, actually telling his side they're going to have to give a little. in this case, that means telling democrats they're going to have to make concessions on programs like social security and medicaid. my question, are republicans ready to seize the moment? or are they simply going to rely on cheap shots like saying as one did yesterday, the proposal is a shocking attack on seniors? also, president obama has already ended two wars, passed health care, and helped lead the
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way on gay rights. if he can match those first-term successes with progress on guns, on immigration, and on a grand bargain on government costs, we could be looking at a transformational president. and tonight, we've got the woman with perhaps the least enviable job in america, the democrat running against chris christie. that's going to be interesting. and republican joe barton's logic against climate change. he said we had the great flood back in the bible and that was climate change and it sure wasn't caused by man. so clearly, well, whatever. this is "hardball." the place for politics. meet you nia, i'm mike. what do you drive? i have a ford explorer, i love my car. and you're treating it well? yes i am. there are a lot of places you could take your explorer for service, why do you bring it back to the ford dealership? they specifically work on fords. it seems to me like the best care. and it's equal or less money, so it's a value for me. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. who doesn't enjoy value?
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governors but big but here, corbett is minus 14 in job approval and could get the hook. number four, sam brownback of congress, 16 points under water. number three, in florida, rick scott, 20 points under water and potentially facing a challenge from our own charlie crist. number two, pat quinn of illinois. the most endangered governor in america, rhode island's independent governor lincoln chafeee with a net job approval rating, catch this, of minus 40. besides quinn and chafee the rest of the top 12 on the list are all republicans. tough for them. try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align. ♪ need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's a probiotic that fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7. because your insides set the tone.
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welcome back to "hardball." when it comes to the country's economic future, president obama knows the country must act on both taxes and spending, that both sides need to compromise. his plan includes the smart and necessary move of shaking democrats out of their comfort zone on social security and medicare. it's not an easy concession to ask of a party that believes the
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two programs are sacrosanct. there's been furious response from the left. the president's next step may be tougher getting republicans to sign on to a grand bargain that tackles those expensive programs and changes the tax code. republican john feehery was the top spokesman for former speaker dennis has tert and democrat michael feldman was an adviser to vice president al gore. let me ask you gentlemen about this. fe take your cheap shot. the opportunity has been taken by the chairman of your campaign committee. it seems to me, republicans, in fact, led by your real speaker, paper and the rest, will gobble up -- economies with regard to the cost of living and cost of medicare and push back for higher revenues. if that's your party's probable position, why don't they say so publicly instead of this game they're playing of saying, ouch, ouch, this is terrible what you're doing to social security? >> well, i think what republicans want to have happen
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is that we have a long-term plan to deal with our entitlement spending and then also keep the economy growing by not imposing higher taxes on companies and small businesses and job creators. i think what the president is doing with this cpi thing, which i personally support, but it's -- >> you're reasonable. >> but it's also a dangerous trap. if the democrats -- the problem for greg walden is democrats are not going to say, hey, i support this. what they're going to do is oppose it and then if republicans support it they're going to run against republicans on that issue. so greg walden who's head of the campaign committee, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on here, this is not necessarily good for our most vulnerable republicans. that's his job. >> i got you. to recap on this, what happened the other day the president said in his budget one of the ways we have to save money, get the debt down is deal with this cpi the way we adjust social security and other payments by the government and change the formula so it doesn't go up so much every year. he'd argue it's an accurate
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account of how much inflation there really is. here's the republican congressman from oregon, who chairs the committee. keep going. for re-election of all the house members on the republican side. yesterday on cnn he actually attacked the president from the president's left calling the plan an attack on seniors. let's listen. >> i thought it's very intriguing in that his budget really lays out kind of a shocking attack on seniors, if twr you will. when you're going after seen wrors the way he has done in obama care taking $700 billion out of medicare to put into obama care and now coming back at seniors again, i think you're crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country. >> nice try. the conservative group, by the way, club for growth, tagged that guy there, greg walden, as a rino, republican in name only. this morning my colleague joe
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scarborough called on them to distance themselves. hear what he had to say. here's joe. >> if they do not say greg walden is wrong and this is not the position of the house leadership and this is no the position of the head of the nrcc, officially, and that they are going to discourage their candidates from doing this, i say the president should walk away. it is shameful. this is shameful. i cannot -- i cannot condemn this enough. i'm going to be as tough on this issue as i've been on the president for not having the courage to talk about entitlements. republicans, you better speak out against this right now. forget the politics. this is about the next generation. >> this is why i've always liked scarborough because i tell you, he's been absolutely consistent here. michael feldman, let me get back to the politics. the republicans are having a hard time getting their usual act together which is they support entitlement reform. that's the position of the party. save money on government spending, especially so-called entitlements. look for ways to save the money. be tough if you have to be.
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the president basically joined them the other day with his budget saying, okay, now pony up on the revenue side. how does obama get them to pony up on the revenue side since he stuck his neck out on the spending side? >> well, look, this is the first round, and i felt what the president did -- by the way, it's not his proposal. this proposal that's become so controversial is actually a republican proposal. it was offered originally by boehner and mcconnell. and so you can't on one hand say you want meaningful comprehensive budget deal and then demagogue the president when he comes out and actually embraces a republican proposal. i think the reaction to it is indicative. i think what you heard joe say this morning, what john just said, what speaker boehner said this afternoon, people are walking back a little bit from this because they can't be seen as playing pure politics as we enter into a serious negotiation about our economic future. >> let's take a look, here's speaker boehner. >> i made it clear that i disagree with what chairman walden said. he and i have had a conversation
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about it, and i expect it to -- this is the least we must do to begin the solve the problems in social security. >> so john feehery, is this -- i mean, that's the rational approach. by the way, scarborough is rational there, too. it seems to me what your party is going to do here, i want michael to jump in here and challenge you. if all your party is going to do is like they're in a cafeteria, say, i like this part of the president's proposal getting tough on social security recipients and medicare, trying to save some money there, but we're not going to go after anybody with any money. we're not going to reform the tax system so it's a fairer system. you guys are going to do that, reason you? that's what you're planning to do, isn't it? just what i just said? >> well, i think if you look at the budget, the ryan budget, it had fundamental entitlement reforms and i think it called for some tax reform and i think part of that entitlement reform includes means testing which
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means rich people couldn't get the benefits day were used to getting. i think that's part of this. let me defend greg walden here for a second. his job is to elect republicans. fact of the matter is this cpi proposal, even though i think it's pretty modest, doesn't poll very well. the senior citizens don't want any changes to social security. >> sure. encouraged by the lobbying groups and .1 of 1%. >> polls very poorly. if democrats -- the problem here is democrats are going to run against republicans this election on this very proposal put forward by president obama. >> okay. michael feldman, are democrats smart to show a little leg here? the president saying, okay, i'm willing to give a little. is that smart politics? >> it's absolutely smart politics. they're not running this process based on the last poll they saw. they're saying, how do we get a comprehensive deal? that's going to include entitlement reform which the president has been talking about for a long time, plus investments, plus revenues. all of that comes together to create a meaningful deal which
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by the way strengthens the middle class -- >> michael, i appreciate that. what's going to happen next october right before the election, the president is going to be able to go to the middle of the road suburbanite who decides the elections, right in the middle politically, say, i came to the middle, the right-wing dominated party didn't bother to come to the middle. >> what's going to happen is the democrats are going to run commercials on this very issue bludgeoning republicans. that's what's going to happen. >> nothing is going to happen if we don't try to get something done. >> you know what's going to happen? we're going to stop this debate. thank you, john feehery. thanks, michael. coming up, republicans are trying not to be the stupid party they're calling themselves, as some say. didn't they get the message? the latest crazy talk next in the sideshow. this is "hardball." the place for politics. most people think that after an accident,
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you know the feeling when a politician says something and you think, did i really just hear that? well, first tonight, congressman joe barton on the subject of climate change. the texas republican does not dispute that climate change is occurring, only whether it's called by us. by humans. in a house hearing on the keystone pipeline yesterday, barton went pretty far back for evidence that humans are not behind climate change. think noah's ark. >> people like me that support hydrocarbon development don't deny the climate is changing. i think you could have is an honest difference opinion on what's causing that change without automatically without being either all in, it's all because of mankind, or it's all just natural. i think there's a divergence of evidence. if you're a believer in the bible, one would have to say the great flood is an example of climate change, and that
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certainly wasn't because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy. >> theories that suggest such a flood actually occurred, of course, controversial to say the least. anyway, barton, by the way, is a longtime skeptic on such topics. he once pointed out co 2 emissions are nothing to worry about because we find it in everyday things like coca cola, of course in his area, dr. pepper. next, lawmakers in montana this week debated whether to repeal a bill that makes gay sex a crime in the state. one of them, a republican, stepped in to explain why he would not repeal the law that outlawed gay sex. >> i have a lot of love and respect for a whole number of homosexual friends, so there's no homophobic issues going on here at all with me. >> i kind of liken it like this. this pen has two purposes. the first purpose, of course, is to write. the second purpose is to retract
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so it doesn't leave a stain on your shirt or your purse. so it has two purposes, but one is primary. the other is secondary. to me, sex is primarily purposed to produce people. sex that doesn't produce people is deviant. that doesn't mean that it's a problem, it just means it's not doing its primary purpose. >> by his definition, birth control should be outlawed. next the latest pro-gun advocate to sound the alarm about what he considers bad polling again. last week i spoke to larry pratt. here's what he said about a quinnipiac showing 91% of americans do support background checks for people who buy guns. >> i'm saying it's no good. >> okay. >> i'm saying it's as good as a $3 bill because the same people that are telling us 90%, we found it's 4%. nra found it's 5% among their members. >> every poll we get keeps saying the same thing, but those
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people are lying? >> if you set the poll up so you get a certain outcome, then you're going to get a certain outcome. >> so that poll was worth a $3 bill to pratt. anyway, yesterday on cnn pratt was asked about polls taken by fox news. >> do you believe the fox news polls? >> i'm not sure i believe any polls at this time. i don't think they know how to ask the right questions. >> that was the big bad wolf there. anyway, pollsters don't know how to ask questions. that's a great line. a recent fox poll, by the way, put the question like this. "do you favor or oppose requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers including those buying guns at gun shows and private sales?" pretty clear question, wasn't it? it wasn't hard to answer it. 85% said they were in favor of stronger background checks. i think mr. pratt is confused. up next, it's a big question for our times. is president obama on the verge of becoming a truly transformational president? well, he was a president who fundamentally changed the trajectory on a lot of things in the first term. is he going to do it again and make himself that man in
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history? the transformer? you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. to try on these amazing depend silhouette briefs. oh, it's cheryl burke! who's this guy? security. cheryl, hi! i know you don't need one but would you try on the depend silhouette for charity? right now? under this? why not? for charity? now's the perfect time, cause with soft fabric and waistband, the best protection looks, fits and feels just like underwear. even doing the chacha. whaaat? ok, america. cheryl burke tried the depend silhouette.
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i'm mary thompson with your cnbc market wrap. the dow gained 62 to close at another new high. the s&p 500 adds 5. also hitting a new record. the nasdaq gains more modest, only up 2 points. the latest jobless claims numbers were a factor in today's gains. last week's 42,000 clee decline in the claims was the largest since mid-november and larger than expected. several retailers including costco reported weaker than expected sales in march. costco's shares ended higher along with the broader market. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." big stakes for president obama and his presidency right now. he has now got three significant items in the works that could cement his presidency as truly transformational in history. guns, a grand bargain on the economy, and three immigration reform. on guns you could get -- if he gets background checks through both houses. on the grand bargain, can he slow the growth of entitlements and get republicans to raise revenues? on immigration can he get a real enforcement reform passed? a new nbc poll shows public opinion on immigration shifting in a way that bode well for the president. majority of americans now say immigration strengthens the united states. a number that's been rising steadily. as you see here. up 13 points since 2005. and the president's got these accomplishments already in the can, if you will. he did sign the major health care reform bill which had. fought for for 100 years. he did end two wars in iraq and
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afghanistan and he has presided, ae all know this, the american shift on the issue of marriage and marriage equality. the president has had the benefit of good timing, of course. the country has seem primed for a change. even adds a candidate, obama knew the importance of a leader seizing the moment. >> i don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. i think part of what's different are the times. i do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. i mean, i think ronald reagan changed the trajectory of america in a way that, you know, richard nixon did not. and in a way that bill clinton did not. he -- he put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. i think kennedy 20 years earlier moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. so i think a lot of it just has
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to do with the times. i think we're in one of those times right now. >> joining me right now, former san francisco mayor, willie brown, and "bloomberg view" columnist and msnbc political analyst, jonathan alter whose upcoming book is "the center holds." mayor brown, i now you have strong beliefs about this. lay it out. take a couple minutes. what do you think is on the books and probably will be on the books on this president's side of being what he describes as a transformational president? >> i think the first three things obviously are those that he accomplished in his first term. and clearly he has on the agenda three more that if he accomplishes those that puts him in a category with ted williams, so to speak. he really will be something unusual and incredible. and he is correct in that you can only do those things when you can put together the appropriate number of supporters to follow what you are recommended. you have to provide the leadership, but you have to put
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the subordinance together. in this case, this guy doesn't deal with politicians as supporters. he doesn't deal with political parties as supporters. he doesn't deal with special interests like organized labor or the financial institutions or anybody else. he deals directly with the people. his goal, obviously, is to have the people speak and he becomes the microphone by which the people's voices are heard. that is transformational. >> give me the obama six. the obama half dozen. you said three done, three to go. what are the first three you think has set him apart in history? >> i think first and foremost is the one that everybody was out there for so long, and that's the health care issue. for years, people have been complaining about why i don't have health coverage. i don't work, and so therefore, i'm not covered. i'm getting uncompensated care, or i'm provided uncompensated care if i'm a local hospital. he stepped up to the plate.
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when hillary clinton tried it in the 90 zz, it didn't work. she shot down by all of the special interests on the left and the right. obama stepped to the plate and put it together and really produced it. and i think he did that because the people basically were ready. not because democrats or republicans were ready. the people were ready. and then, of course, he took exactly what mr. bush screwed up on the war side and he addressed that issue effectively. and the evolution of the war issue has removed it from the front pages. and then finally he did something which i thought he would never do. and that is in 2004 when he was in san francisco, he didn't want to stand and be photographed with mr. newsom because mr. newsom had just started the same-sex marriage process, with what appeared at that time to be legal authority. mr. obama, in the thoughtful
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election, he's evolved and gotten there to where now it clearly is the most significant change most of us have seen in the last six, seven, eight or nine years. >> now, jonathan, you jump in here on the other three we'. we're looking at gun control, some sort of grand bargain on the economy, with fiscal policy and taxes and spending thrown in, and we're looking for my standard -- maybe i'm tougher than most people on the liberal side -- i want to see a real workable, sustainable, enforceable immigration policy we're proud of and we wish to enforce. i want something really done. not another simpson/missolli disaster of 20 years ago. >> things are changing around in the last few days, couple weeks, the notorious agenda, budget, immigration and guns. what he did on the budget is in introducing his budget, he basely called the bluff of the republicans. they didn't think he was really going to try to tackle entitlements. and when he did, with this chain
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cpi idea, even if people don't like it, what it did was it split the republican party which is what you want to do in politics. so yesterday you saw them all over the place. some of them saying, well, of course, we have to embrace this, we're for entitlement reform. others trying to pander to seniors. and he's going to be in a much stronger position on the budget because of the budget he just proposed and we'll get something solid, if not a grand bargain, at least a good bargain. on immigration, the gang of eight in the senate is moving forward some kind of an agreement there which i think will pass the house. the republicans learned from the last election if they don't get right on this issue, they are going the way of the whig party. they must do something to address their problem with latinos. obama will get most of the credit but republicans will get some. on guns with this recent agreement between senators toomey and manchin, that also
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will, i believe, not just pass the senate, but it will be approved in the house. the reason being -- >> wow, you are optimistic, sir. >> here's why, chris, this is why this bill is going to go through in the house. obviously there are some republicans who are scared of primaries, but if they are in swing districts, several of them -- >> there's ten of them. >> -- which were carried by obama, they have to worry about those ads paid for by mike bloomberg and others that have newtown parents in them, that are denouncing them for being on the wrong side of this issue. what wants to sail into that wind? they will come around to this legislation. >> you're making the case. i don't think it's there yet. thank you, mayor brown, about the exposition i think is true about past and future. thank you, jonathan. i think you're way ahead of time on that gun issue. we'll see. >> you heard it here first. up next, chris christie -- you can always predict and hope it's right but sorry if it's wrong. there are no free shots on "hardball." thank you very much, jonathan
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alter, thank you, may wror. we're going to talk about the most popular governors in america. why run against them? look at this guy. he's hard to beet. we have the candidate who's going up against him. she's got the guts to do it. this is "hardball." the place to talk about it. [ moaning ]
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[ french accent ] antacid! sorry, i have gas. but you relieve gas, no? not me... that's his job. true. i relieve gas fast. [ moaning ] a little help? who's the gas xpert? [ antacid ] it's gas-x. hillary clinton may have the opportunity to turn a lot of red states blue if she runs for president. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. in kentucky, a state that hasn't gone democrat since bill clinton won in '96, hillary manages a tie with home state senator rand
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paul. 45%-all. according to a new ppp poll. against marco rubio, an early republican front-runner, clinton holds a six-point margin down in florida. florida is looking good. 46%-40%. actually. that's evidence hillary could be redrawing the electoral map for democrats next time around. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this.
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with investment information, risks, fees and expenses but i wondered what a customer thought? describe the first time you met. you brought the flex in... as soon as i met fiona and i was describing the problem we were having with our rear brakes, she immediately triaged the situation, knew exactly what was wrong with it, the car was diagnosed properly, it was fixed correctly i have confidence knowing that if i take to ford it's going to be done correctly with the right parts and the right people. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. did you tell him to say all of that? no, he's right though... we're back. there are two, of course, big governors races this year, virginia and new jersey. attorney general ken cuccinelli and in new jersey, it's the republican governor chris
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christie, one of the most popular governors in the country right now. christie got rave reviews in the aftermath of hurricane sandy one week before the 2012 election. these pictures of christie, a republican embracing president obama along the jersey shore resulted in rare criticism of the wildly popular governor. it came from republicans who felt that christie was being too helpful to the democratic's re-election. christie is an in your face governor and who would stand a chance of beating him? barbara hopes to. she's a state senator representing the parts of central jersey. she joins me now. i know politics. i don't know the jersey situation. i admire your courage, anyone running for office but taking on this big guy. these pictures of those two politicians walking along the jersey shore after sandy, the public loved. it was the one time that the people saw the kind of
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bipartisan gorve governing that they wanted. what is your reaction when you see these pictures? >> governor christie did his job and did what he should have done for new jersey. that was a terrible crisis for all of us and i have to tell you the silver lining on it all is i saw people come tongt like they never had. people helping one another out of this crisis and it's an important lesson to be learned. >> so you don't have a problem with the way he did that? >> oh, absolutely not. >> take a look at this latest poll. it's got governor christie's approval rating at 68%. a lot of governors are in trouble. 26% disapprove. 93% of republicans approve him. no surprise. but also three-quarters of independents and a slight majority of your party. >> i've been the first woman minority leader and there is new york and the philadelphia media markets and it's hard to penetrate. people don't know me.
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as people get to know me, that will change. the gap will close. >> people have been there, like clifford case, nobody knew who he was. let's take a look at an ad run against christie the first time around when he was out to beat cornize. jon cornize poked at christie. take a look. >> if you drove down the one way street, would you get away without a ticket? chris christie did. if you were caught speeding in an unregistered car, would you get away without points? chris christie did. in both cases, christie threw his weight around and got off. if you didn't pay taxes and ignored ethics laws, would you get away with it? chris christie, one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else. >> that's about the guy being big. they show him in a white car, throw your weight around.
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does that work in new jersey, taking on a guy's weight. >> you're not going to do that again? >> i'm going to tell you what i'm going to do. >> did you like that ad? >> i think it -- i'm not going to comment on another campaign and what they did. what i will say is i'm going to have a campaign on the issues and over 400,000 people are still out of work. the middle class has shrunk. people are hurting. >> let me ask you, to shorten it up a little bit, what would you do that this governor didn't do? >> put people back to work. >> that's a goal. how would you do it? i'd have a real economic plan. >> what would it do? >> i can tell you what i wouldn't do. >> let's be positive. what would you do? >> i would not pull out of the arc tunnel. i would have not have pulled out of the multistate pack that was
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creating state jobs. >> how much do you think the tunnel cost? >> we have ray lahood come to new jersey on several occasions trying to give us the comfort level that we wouldn't be paying for the bill but you know what -- >> he didn't want to spend the money. how would you have gotten the money for the tunnel? >> it wasn't that he didn't want to spend the money. he said that there were going to be overages and the fact of the matter is it was well worth -- all of his decisions are guided by his eye to 2016. that's why he decided to pull out of the largest infrastructure -- >> 2016? you think he's running for president? >> do you? >> i'm asking. you're from new jersey. do you think -- is that part of your campaign? do you think he's using it off as a stepping off point? >> i'm not a political pundit. what i do care about is putting people back to work. >> i completely agree with you, first thought. you're very nice, senator. nice to have you on.
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seriously, i think you're going to give a great challenge to this governor. when we return, high stakes for president obama. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train.
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let me finish tonight with this. this president, barack obama, stands at a crossroads right now. he's done some historic things getting elected, for one, and health care, and

Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC April 11, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Obama 8, America 8, United States Senate 6, Chris Christie 6, Greg Walden 5, Us 5, New Jersey 4, Maine 3, U.s. 3, Allstate 3, Michael Feldman 3, Jonathan 3, Boehner 3, Clinton 3, John Feehery 3, Toomey 3, Florida 3, Chuck Todd 3, Ford Service Credit Card 2, Paul 2
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